Monday, March 21, 2011

127, 128, Strikeforce, and Bellator

Lots going on in the MMA world the past few weeks.
I'll try to be as succinct as possible.

Lets start with Bellator. They're not in the same league as the UFC, but they know that. They do a good job of recruiting (for the most part, couple of those round 1 fighters are way out of their depth) All of their guys are hungry, and the tournement format is good fun, however they HAVE to work on their production values. I've watched highschool wrestling matches on youtube with better production quality. Hopefully the longer they work with MTV the better that will get.

Strikeforce is not dead, but its on it's way. Zuffa bought them last week. My thought is they're going to wait for some of the higher profile contracts to end, and slowly fold those guys into the UFC, then close up shop once the showtime deal ends.. Or not. They might set up Strikeforce as a "minor league" promotion, allowing them to keep name guys who are past their prime out of other people's hands and leverage Showtime/CBS into talking turkey. Either way it seems like it was a good move, as they are really the only game in town now.

This was a pretty blah overall card. I understand the UFC is trying to get a toehold on Australiasia, but they have to either come up with some better fighters from that region, or just bring in guys, because the Australiasian fighter vs. Some shmoe on the same level format isn't working, not enough good fighters to make a compelling card. Use the undercard to build fighters from that region, and don't subject us to an entire card of gatekeeper and journeymen fights.

Mark Hunt could be somebody if he ever got his butt in shape. His walk-off KO of Chris Tuchsherer was a thing of beauty.

Glad to see Nick Ring in the UFC, he is one of the few guys from TUF that seems like a reasonable and intelligent guy. I like to see those guys doing well.

Kyle Noke looks like he's on the upswing. Hopefully the UFC won't/won't have to wrap him in bubble wrap and feed him a line of tomato cans like they have Mike Bisping in order to have an aussie "face." More on that in a bit.

George Sotiropoulos is a good fighter, and a decent guy, but his wrestling sucks. He clearly has learned takedowns from a jiu-jitsu coach with no other grappling background. To be frank there is a reason every great ground fighter has worked some form of Judo/wrestling/takedowns from a specialist. The days of being able to grab a leg and sorta hork your opponent to the ground have gone the way of wearing a Gi in the cage.

I am tired of Mike Bisping. He is fatiguing. He is a decent low level gatekeeper who has fought 2 fighters who are even gatekeepers (Hendo who starched him, and Wanderlei who is not the same Wanderlei) and yet he thinks he should be in line for a title shot. Part of me wants to see it. He'll talk smack and Anderson will punch is chav face off. Then let him tumble down the ladder and watch him get beat by Marquardt, Sonnen, Maia, Okami, Palhares, Munoz and god knows who else. The fight I really want to see is Mayhem Miller vs Bisping.

I thought Jon Fitch won that fight. BJ Penn thought Fitch won that fight. BJ almost broke. If there had been a 4th round there wouldn't have been a 5th. If you're judging a fight, there has to be an "Ass-kicking" clause in your judging. If at the end of a fight you look at one of the fighters and say "that guy got his ass kicked." then the other guy won the fight.

Erik Koch looked good. He's a goofy kid with a lot of potential. Hopefully the UFC will bring him along slowly and let him develop. He's got a lot of potential.

Barboza vs. Njokuani was a terribly difficult fight to score. Njokuani controled the pace, but Barboza landed some heavy shots and scored a couple timely takedowns. I had Njokuani winning, but you just never know.

Kamal Shalorus needs to go to a better camp so that he can get over his striking and learn that he needs to fight a smart fight in order to win. At age 38 he just doesn't have time to learn hard lessons in fights.

Brendan Schaub looked good in his fight with CroCop, and is on his way up. The big question mark is his wrestling.

CroCop is done. Even before Dana White said it. Watching his fights in PRIDE he was a cerified killer. He was someone to be feared, and he knew it. Since the loss to Gonzaga he has doubts. He looks like he'd rather be anywhere else. You can tell he's not training as much, his physique is softer, smoother. He's just not the same guy.

Eddie Wineland had the right gameplan, he just wasn't athletic enough to pull it off agains Urijah Faber. Faber looks set to take the bantamweight belt. I think he beats Dominick Cruz.

Jon Jones is a handful. His speed, reach, and wrestling make him trouble for anyone at 205. Rashad Evans knows it, that's why he's acting the way he is. Dumping Greg Jackson is just building an excuse for why he's going to lose the fight. Once he loses he'll come back to Jackson, or some other camp, and suddenly he'll be rejuvinated, win a few fights and think of some other reason why he isn't going to beat Jones.


No comments: